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Scarves are essential for keeping the neck and body warm during cold, frigid temperatures — but that’s not the only reason why we love them. In addition to their important function, scarves are an excellent way to tie a look together with their abundance of patterns, colors, fabrics, and textures, too. Super Chunky Polyester Yarn
“A scarf is a chic and timeless accessory with a rich history dating back to ancient Egypt,” says Bloomingdale’s Accessories Fashion Director Marissa Galante Frank. She explains that this wardrobe accessory is a must-have because it's the perfect mix of function and fashion. “Scarves have so many uses, from keeping you warm and cozy to being the exclamation point for your look,” she adds. So whether you’re shopping for that so-called exclamation point moment or need something ultra-warm for the winter season, we’ve got all of your scarf shopping covered with our top picks for the best scarves on the market.
From cashmere to merino wool and everything in between, shop PEOPLE's best scarves for women selections ahead.
Someone shopping for a warm fringed scarf for everyday wear at an approachable price point.
Those who prefer a more lightweight scarf style.
Our top pick for the best overall scarf is the Shetland Recycled Blend Fringe Scarf from Free People. A cross between a blanket scarf and a more classic style, this scarf is ultra-warm, stylish, and soft. Wear it long, wrap it around your neck, or create a makeshift head cover to keep warm all winter with virtually any outfit. In addition to its style and function, the scarf is also constructed from 50 percent recycled polyester.
Price at time of publish: $48
Material: 50% polyester, 50% recycled polyester | Colors: Gingerbread, Seafoam, Black, Emerald, Sugar Plum
Someone shopping for a budget-friendly blanket scarf on Amazon.
Anyone looking for a budget-friendly scarf in a more traditional wrap or infinity style.
For a budget-friendly scarf that doesn’t sacrifice quality, consider the Dimore Plaid Blanket Scarf from Amazon. With its cashmere-like acrylic fabric, this $14 scarf looks and feels luxurious without the high price tag. It’s also available in 13 different plaid color combinations and comes highly recommended by over 3,000 Amazon customers for its durability, soft feel, warmth factor, and styling versatility.
Price at time of publish: $13.99
Material: Acrylic | Length: 57 inches | Colors: Black and White Grid, Light Yellow, Blue and Green, Red, Orange and Red, White Grey, Red and Green, and more
Someone looking to invest in a high-quality designer cashmere scarf.
Anyone who prefers a blanket scarf or is needing something more budget-friendly.
A classic cashmere scarf is one of the best accessory investments you can make — and this White + Warren scarf is definitely splurge-worthy. Made from 100 percent cashmere, the 78 by 26-inch scarf is ultra-soft, warm, and lightweight, making it the ideal everyday scarf for winter (and for wrapping around the neck multiple times). Despite its lightweight design, the scarf is one of the warmest on our lists, since cashmere is known to provide up to eight times the insulation compared to wool. It’s also sweat and moisture-wicking, doesn’t have a scratchy feel, and provides long-lasting comfort.
Price at time of publish: $275
Material: 100% cashmere | Length: 78 inches | Colors: Electric Fuchsia, Soft White, Black, Soft Iris Heather, Charcoal Heather, Grey Heather
Someone looking for a lightweight cotton scarf that's available on Amazon.
Those who prefer an infinity scarf style or want to make more of an investment in a scarf.
The best scarf on Amazon is the Wander Agio Long Big Grid Large Scarf, thanks to its under $20 price tag and luxe-feeling cotton material. The plaid scarf also comes in 25 different color combinations and is top-rated by over 22,000 Amazon customers for its soft touch, warmth, and length. Additionally, it’s highly versatile as you can wear it as a wrap scarf around your neck, a shawl, or an open blanket scarf.
Price at time of publish: $15.99
Material: Cotton | Length: 79 inches | Colors: Beige, Camel Pink, Plaid Black, Blue, and 21 other colors
Someone shopping for a warm, heat-tech scarf in a classic and simple style.
Someone shopping for a scarf with a chunky knit style or in a different material.
The warmest scarf on our list is the Uniqlo Heattech Scarf, which is designed with special technology to insulate the body with lasting warmth. Featuring a classic cashmere-like style, the ultra-soft unisex scarf can be styled in a variety of ways, giving it lots of styling versatility. Plus, it comes in several fantastic colors, including two gray hues, a classic black, and vibrant red and blue colors, too. If you’re looking for a lightweight yet super warm scarf, this one is it.
Price at time of publish: $24.90
Material: 65% acrylic, 35% wool | Length: 70.9 inches | Colors: Blue, Brown, Red, Black, Dark Gray, Gray, Off-White
Those shopping for a waterproof black puffer scarf with tons of insulation and warmth.
Someone who prefers more color options or is wanting a more traditional scarf.
Puffer coats are a winter staple — and puffer scarves kick the warmth up a notch. The Lululemon Wunder Puff Scarf is made from a water-repellent polyester with 600-fill-power goose down for extra warmth. Made for frigid temperatures and movement, the scarf features buttons along the sides that attach to the Lululemon Wunder Puff Jacket, too. In addition, it has a slit at the end of one side so you can easily tie it around the neck for insulation.
Price at time of publish: $98
Material: Fill: 80% grey goose down, 20% grey goose feathers; Body: 100% polyester; Inner Layer Lining: 100% recycled polyester | Colors: Black
Someone looking for a budget-friendly infinity scarf on Amazon.
Someone who prefers more luxe materials such as cashmere or merino wool.
For the best infinity scarf, look no further than this option on Amazon. This scarf has a circumference of 55 inches and has a soft pashmina-like acrylic fabric so you can wear it wrapped snuggly around the neck for extra warmth and coziness. On top of that, it comes in a whopping 35 colors, including neutrals as well as bright shades so you can choose one that best matches your winter wardrobe. The best part is that some colors are only $10.
Price at time of publish: $9.99-$16.99
Material: 100% acrylic | Length: 55 inches | Colors: Khaki, Mustard, Black, White, Charcoal, and 30 other colors
Someone looking for a plush fleece balaclava for frigid temperatures.
Someone shopping for a balaclava that covers the face.
Designed for chilly and frigid temperatures alike, the Free People Cold Snap Fleece Balaclava is one of the warmest and most comfortable balaclavas we’ve ever worn. While this style doesn’t cover the face, it features a drawstring design — kind of like a hoodie — that allows you to secure it around the face and chin to keep warm. And, when not in use, it doubles as a neck gaiter so you can keep warm while playing in the snow, skiing, or braving below-zero temperatures.
Price at time of publish: $48
Material: 100% polyester | Colors: Snow, Jet
Someone shopping for a minimalistic blanket scarf in a neutral color.
Those looking for a thinner scarf or want to invest in real cashmere or wool.
Blanket scarves are one of our favorite styles because they boast so much warmth and are the ultimate winter statement piece. For the best blanket scarf, consider the Asos Design Supersoft Scarf with Tassels. The $20 scarf has a sophisticated and luxe look with a rectangle cut and fringe tassels on both ends. And, while it’s made from acrylic, it actually feels more like cashmere, making it an excellent cheap cashmere alternative.
Price at time of publish: $19.50
Material: Acrylic | Colors: Mid Gray
Someone looking for a high-quality unisex cashmere scarf with plenty of color options.
People shopping for a less expensive scarf or anyone needing something larger.
Cashmere is one of the warmest and softest scarf materials and the Naadam Cashmere Solid Scarf is one of our favorites. Constructed from 100 percent Mongolian cashmere, the 75-inch unisex scarf is one of the best and most functional investments you can make in your winter wardrobe. Additionally, the scarf comes in a variety of colors, including some stunning neutral tones as well as vibrant peacock blue and a beautiful soft lavender.
Price at time of publish: $195
Material: 100% Mongolian cashmere | Length: 75 inches | Colors: Black, Smoke, Peacock Blue, Camel, Cement, Oatmeal, Pale Gray, Oatmeal and White, Dusty Lavender, Latte
Someone looking for a solid cotton knit scarf with a subtle ribbed texture.
People shopping for a plaid scarf or something in a different texture.
Komodo's Sendai Organic Cotton Scarf, which is made from 95 percent GOTS-certified organic cotton and 5 percent cashmere, is soft, warm, and ultra-stylish. The minimalistic scarf features a light ribbed texture in neutral shades that match plenty of winter wardrobe pieces, including a creamy off-white, burgundy, and dark khaki.
Price at time of publish: $75
Material: 95% organic cotton, 5% cashmere | Colors: Off-White, Dark Khaki, Cherry Red
People shopping for a timeless silk neck scarf at an affordable price in a trendy pattern.
Someone looking for a silk scarf with a longer shape or shoppers wanting a knit scarf for cold weather.
Whether you’re shopping for a silk scarf or want something more versatile that can be wrapped around your wrist, tied in your hair, wear it as a top, or looped onto your purse strap, the Dandy Del Mar Moorea Silk Satin Scarf in Alhambra Check is our top pick for the best silk scarf. Made from 100 percent silk satin fabric with a handhold hem, the scarf is the perfect mix of timeless and trendy with its warped checker print pattern and green, navy, and cream hue.
Price at time of publish: $89
Material: 100% silk | Length: 35 inches | Colors: Green/cream
Someone looking for a trendy granny square crochet scarf.
Someone shopping for a solid-colored crochet scarf.
Crochet accessories are one of the most popular fashion trends, and influencers and celebrities alike can’t get enough of the granny square style. For the best crochet scarf, consider this handmade and custom option from Etsy. The Letsluv Colorful Granny Square Crochet Scarf is constructed from cotton and acrylic yarn with your choice of length — either 40 or 103 inches — and primary color.
Price at time of publish: $23.92+
Material: Cotton and acrylic yarn | Length: 40 or 103 inches | Colors: Black, Clear, Red, Blue, Green
Someone looking for a reversible scarf that is simple yet sophisticated.
Someone shopping for a reversible scarf with multiple color and print options.
The greatest thing about a reversible scarf is that you essentially get two scarves in one, making it worth the investment. Our favorite reversible scarf is the Vineyard Vines Camo Reversible Woven Scarf, which is made from a super-soft cashmere and wool blend fabric to keep your neck warm and cozy. The scarf features a plain black style on one side and a subtle gray herringbone camo pattern on the other, allowing you to mix up your winter style.
Price at time of publish: $128
Material: Cashmere and wool blend | Colors: Black/gray
Someone shopping for a lightweight, breathable, and versatile scarf.
Someone looking for a scarf made from warmer material.
If you’re shopping for a scarf that travels well, you’ll find it in the Lululemon Customizable Snap Scarf. This lightweight scarf can be worn in multiple ways, including a twisted infinity scarf, wrap, and even a cardigan thanks to its versatile design featuring snaps at both ends for customization. Additionally, it’s constructed from a Rulu fabric material which boasts softness, four-way stretch, and sweat-wicking abilities. It also features lycra for additional shape retention and stretch.
Price at time of publish: $48
Material: 91% nylon, 9% lycra elastane | Colors: Black
Someone shopping for a chunky merino wool scarf in classic colorways.
Anyone shopping for a scarf that's more budget friendly or not as chunky.
Merino wool is one of the best scarf materials because it’s not itchy (unlike other wool fabrics), provides a ton of insulation, and is anti-static. For the best merino wool scarf, we recommend the Made Trade Rib Merino Wool Scarf. This comfortable knit scarf is handmade from extra-fine merino wool with a chunky knit texture for warmth and added style.
Price at time of publish: $122
Material: 100% merino wool | Length: 70.9 inches | Colors: Gray, Black, Beige
Someone shopping for an ultra-warm wrap with lots of versatility at a great price.
Someone looking for a more lightweight, smaller scarf.
The Quince Mongolian Cashmere Wrap is our top pick for the best travel wrap because it’s super soft, comes in several fun colors, and boasts tons of versatility. The scarf works as a shawl, wrap, blanket scarf, and even a lightweight blanket for plane travel, and looks great with casual and formal looks alike, so you’ll get plenty of wear while traveling. In addition to its function, the scarf is made from 100 percent Mongolian cashmere, making it one of the warmest options on our list.
Price at time of publish: $99.90
Material: 100% Mongolian cashmere | Length: 86 inches | Colors: Olive, Burgundy, Black, Heather Gray, Navy, Oatmeal
Someone shopping for a stylish scarf that doubles as a head wrap.
Someone shopping for a scarf that is long enough to wrap around the neck and head.
The Wrap Life Ribbed Head Wrap is our top pick for the best head wrap, thanks to its versatile design and incredible fabric. Constructed from a blend of polyester and viscose with plenty of spandex stretch, this head scarf wraps around the head with ease, allowing you to style in a variety of twisted and wrapped styles. On top of that, it comes in 11 different colors so you can choose one (or a few) that best fits your style and wardrobe needs.
Price at time of publish: $26
Material: 70% polyester, 25% viscose, 5% spandex | Length: 64 inches | Colors: Ash, Fern, Linen, Saffron, Pecan, Sage, Adobe, Lapis, Amaranth, Marigold, Black
Someone shopping for a luxe unisex merino wool scarf in a waffle knit texture.
Someone who prefers brighter-colored scarves or is looking for a different style.
There’s something so luxe about a waffle knit texture in a scarf. This Everlane scarf is our top pick for this category because it has that delicious texture yet still feels minimalistic and versatile enough for virtually any winter look. The scarf is constructed from soft and warm merino wool and measures 70 inches long so you can wrap it around your neck a couple of times to keep warm in frigid temperatures.
Price at time of publish: $80
Material: Body: 100% wool; Trimming: 96% wool, 1% elastane, 3% other fiber | Length: 70 inches | Colors: Deep Camel, Black, Heathered Oat, Mid Heathered Grey
Someone shopping for a lightweight scarf with a soft pop of color.
Someone shopping for a scarf in a neutral color or anyone avoiding polyester.
This polyester scarf from Marine Layer is lightweight yet still ultra-soft and comfortable. Plus it features a subtle lavender plaid pattern which is a nice way to mix up a winter look. The scarf also boasts a more traditional design with tassels on the end and an overall timeless feel, making it an excellent winter wardrobe investment.
Price at time of publish: $58
Material: 60% recycled polyester, 40% polyester | Colors: Lavender Plaid
First and foremost, you want to consider the fabric and material of a scarf. The warmest scarf material is cashmere (the White + Warren Cashmere Scarf and Naadam Cashmere Solid Scarf are both solid options), followed by merino wool — and both materials are considered high-quality, too. Scarves also come in acrylic (which is often designed to mimic soft blankets and even cashmere), cotton, polyester, and silk.
Depending on how you want to wear your scarf, length and size are also important. If you wish to wrap your neck a few times, a scarf with lots of length is required. However, those that want to wear an open scarf or just one wrap can get by with something a little shorter instead. If you plan to wrap your head or hair in a scarf, the length and size also matter and will determine how well it fits.
When shopping for a scarf, it’s also important to consider the overall purpose. If you’re planning to wear it out in the dead of winter, it will need to keep you warm and, therefore, be made of cashmere, wool, or other insulating materials. For a summer look, consider a silk scarf, like the Dandy Del Mar Moorea Silk Satin Scarf, or even a lightweight cotton scarf shawl.
The best kind of scarf varies, depending on function and styling. However, a winter scarf should certainly meet a few requirements. “The best scarf for winter should be warm, but not so warm that you wouldn’t want to wear it through a brunch date indoors,” says Carla Rockmore, a fashion influencer dubbed TikTok’s “real-life Carrie Bradshaw.” She recommends going for a pop of color in the winter to liven things up, as we tend to look a little gray during the dreary winter months. “There’s nothing better than to wrap a celadon green or tomato red scarf around your neck in order to strategically pull out your eye color or give some life back into your cheeks,” she notes.
If you’re looking for the best scarf overall, our top pick is the Free People Shetland Recycled Blend Fringe Scarf because it’s the perfect mix of a blanket and traditional scarf, comes in a few fun and vibrant colors, and feels ultra-soft and warm when bundled around the neck.
Our list of the best scarves is chock full of winter-approved options. However, our favorites are the Komodo's Sendai Organic Cotton Scarf, Quince's Mongolian Cashmere Wrap, Vineyard Vines' Camo Reversible Woven Scarf, Naadam's Cashmere Solid Scarf, and White + Warren's Cashmere Scarf, all of which are constructed with cashmere for an ultra-warm feel. In addition to cashmere options, a blanket scarf like the Asos Design Supersoft Scarf with Tassels is also an excellent way to bundle up. The Lululemon Wunder Puff Scarf is another top pick because it has the same feel (and warmth) as your favorite puffer coat, plus it’s water-resistant.
According to Frank, cashmere wool is the strongest and softest. “A good cashmere scarf is an essential and a building block for everyone’s wardrobe,” she explains. With that said, there are many cashmere-like materials available that can feel equally as soft. For example, the Asos Design Supersoft Scarf with Tassels is constructed from acrylic but has a cashmere-like feel.
High Tenacity Polyester Thread Jessie Quinn is a contributing commerce writer for PEOPLE and has written for publications such as Byrdie, InStyle, The Spruce, NYLON, and more. When researching the best scarves, Jessie first looked at the overall function and considered items made from durable, high-quality materials. She also considered season and usage, making sure to keep an eye out for the best scarves for winter, as this is the season where they shine the most. Additionally, Jessie reached out to fashion experts Carla Rockmore and Marissa Galante Frank to learn more about what makes the best scarf.